Life feel out of control? Don’t know how to cope? If you’re wondering what to do when everything is going wrong, try these helpful tips to get your life back on track.
At some time in your life, it will happen.
You’ve been thinking things are going well.
You’re settled in your marriage.
Your work life is humming.
Your family is healthy.
But then your husband tells you things don’t feel right.
Work becomes a constant source of stress.
Your mom gets sick.
Or maybe you’ve been surfing the wave of all those things you have to do, and suddenly you get dumped.
Everything in your life feels like it’s going wrong.
Even though you’d rather cuddle up in bed and not deal with it, you have to keep going.
There is no other choice.
People need you. You need you.
So what do you do when everything is going wrong?
Search other articles and you might find some different kind of tips.
They might tell you to reframe what’s happening, to read some motivational quotes, to count your blessings.
It’s good advice but it’s not what I recommend right now.
There will be time for thinking.
But sometimes you need to stop thinking and start acting.
Otherwise you can run the risk of going over and over the situation in your head.
Small steps in the right direction will help to get you started.
So here’s the eight things you need to do to get through the day.
1. Get yourself groomed
As tempting as it is to take to the couch in your pajamas, that’s not going to help.
So get in the shower, get dressed, brush your teeth and do your hair.
You might feel bad now, but trust me, when that doorbell rings and you have to answer the door to a Girl Guide selling cookies, or to a friendly neighbor checking in to see if you’ve been eaten by the cat, you’ll be glad you did (Either that or you’ll have to hide, which makes you feel both furtive and a little silly).
Being groomed also means you can leave the house if you have to.
And don’t forget the makeup!
You’re playing fake it till you make it, as research shows that wearing makeup makes people perceive you as more likable, trustworthy and competent (source).
When everything is going wrong, that perception others have of you, and how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror will have an impact.
2. Get (and keep) one room clean and tidy
Chances are that if things have been going wrong for a while, you haven’t kept up with the house.
When things are super messy, that outer chaos adds to your inner chaos.
While it’s unrealistic at this point to think you can suddenly get everything clean and tidy, you can get started with one room – even if you have to pick the smallest room in the house. At times in my life this has been the toilet. And that’s okay!
You need to then commit to keeping that room tidy so you have one place you can walk into that makes you feel at peace.
You can also start implementing the one minute rule, which will slowly restore order with minimal effort.
Now that you have yourself and one room tidy and presentable, it’s time to move on to Number 3.
3. Put on a load of washing
Once that load has finished, get it dry.
Don’t worry if you don’t iron it.
Don’t worry if you don’t put it away.
But with clean clothes for you and your family, you’re avoiding the stress of having to go out in public with dirty and / or stained clothing that proclaims to everyone and then some that you’re not coping with life.
Remember – fake it til you make it.
4. Check your food supplies
You’re looking for meals that take only 15-20 minutes to cook, or emergency meals that require little more than heating up.
If you’ve been doing meal planning, then you’ll already have these sorted, you may just have to juggle things around a little.
If you don’t have anything on hand, get to the supermarket (aren’t you glad you made yourself presentable now?) and purchase the healthiest, fastest to cook food that you can.
For example, you can buy several cooked chickens and prepared salads that will take the pressure off you for several days without you having to resort to unhealthy and expensive takeaways.
Congratulate yourself for having made it so far!
You’ve now done the basics that will keep things ticking over while you get your head in the right space.
If you can keep going, read on.
5. Do a brain dump of your to-dos
Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and write down everything you need to do.
Once you have written the list down, look at it carefully and rank the items in order of what will have the most impact on the week ahead to the least.
For example, you may have some important emails sitting in your inbox that need replying to that will significantly impact your day tomorrow.
You may also need to check the gutters on your house.
Both are important. One is urgent.
That one goes at the top of the list.
Once you have ranked the items, decide how many you can cope with for the rest of the day.
Remember less is more here- better to say two and do ten than the other way around.
Now get to it and do what you can – and stick to the order you decided on!
6. Control something you can
Our stress comes when we feel out of control.
The steps that you’ve taken so far have all been about taking back control in ways within the world that is your home.
Now you need to take it to the next level- make a small demand of someone else outside of the house.
I’m not advocating being rude, but as an example, if say a colleague wants to meet with you, email back and say “I am only available at 4.30pm on Thursday.”
It will seriously make you feel better.
7. Think when you’ve struggled before but have pulled through
Chances are that in your life to date you’ve actually had to deal with worse than this.
Of course this doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid.
But how you FEEL about what’s going on can be as strong as the circumstances you’re experiencing (Another day, when things are not so bad, see how you can set your intentions and use this for your benefit).
By thinking about these things, you can see that you are capable of dealing with whatever you have going on at the moment.
You don’t need to feel happy or positive – in fact it’s counterproductive to try that just yet.
You just need to believe you know you can cope.
You’ve done it before- you can do it again.
8. Finish the day
If you still have energy left, go over to daily routines and do the tasks for the evening.
It will take you 40 minutes but by doing so you’ll be set for tomorrow.
Congratulations! You made it.
You got through the day and made it better than it was when it started.
TO SUM UP
When things are going wrong, you can end up feeling paralyzed.
You don’t know what action is the right one to take.
You don’t know what to do at all.
But the truth is, when everything is bad, you’re not at the point where you can fix anything.
That’s why I didn’t say anything specific about the scenarios mentioned at the beginning of this post.
None of those issues will change in a day.
But if you follow the steps here, you will feel better equipped to deal with them.
You need to take care of yourself, and your family, to feel calmer and more in control.
Only then do you start dealing with the big stuff.
Things will get better – they always do.
Until then, just keep swimming.